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Welcome to Boston, You Dirty Dog

July 2, 2010

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday—we had a busy day!

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Yesterday morning, we got up bright and early to make the eight-ish hour drive to Boston.  Instead of going straight to the city, we met up with our friends Elyssa and Stefan.

They’re friends of ours from Purdue, but they recently relocated to North Attleborough, Massachusetts, so it was the perfect opportunity to see them! We decided to meet at Minute Man National Park for a picnic—it was the perfect place to start this patriotic holiday weekend!

Elyssa is an awesome cook (and blogger!), and she brought a fantastic picnic spread.  We enjoyed:

Spicy peanut noodles with vegetables:

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Lemon dill cucumber salad (with tzatziki sauce):

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And Tahini Dal (moong beans):

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The moong beans were my favorite I think—they tasted like a stronger-tasting hummus, almost.

It was a fancy, delicious picnic feast!

Our dining partners:

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Elyssa is also toying with the idea of starting her own baked goods line, which would focus on decadent, delicious desserts that are still good for you—ie, less sugar, more whole grains, etc.  She said that she’s gotten sick of eating baked goods, only to have a big sugar crash afterwards, and wants to focus on making food that makes a person feel as good afterwards as it does while they’re eating it.  Makes sense, right?

She made these amazing Mexican chocolate cupcakes with half the sugar—although we never would have known if she hadn’t told us! They tasted just as amazing as any full-sugar cupcake.  They had a generous dusting of cinnamon on the icing, and a little bit of a kick as well:

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So, so good. 

After the picnic lunch, we explored the park for a while.  We took in a musket shooting:

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Which misfired four times! Doh!

We also crossed the North Bridge, site of the shot heard ‘round the world:

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We made one last stop at a house that Emerson’s grandfather (I think?!) built:

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It had a dock leading out to a murky, black water sludge pond.  We decided to meander down the dock a bit, and before we knew it, someone had decided that it was time for a swim:

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Ugh. Baxter stank to high heaven after his little dip in the swamp, so we took that as a sign that it was time to say our goodbyes. We took our stinky dog, our regular dog, and headed into Boston to meet up with my parents.

If only it had been that easy.

Due to traffic and our poor navigational skills, what should have been a half-hour drive turned into a two hour one.  We got turned around, stuck in traffic, and all-out lost about ten times before we finally made it to our hotel.

Luckily, the awesome hotel made it all worth it.

We’re staying at the Nine Zero hotel, which is right across the street from Boston Common.  The hotel itself is really sleek and nice…but the best part? 
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It’s basically a dog spa.

Upon arriving in our room, we found two plush dogs beds, plus food and water bowls, and personalized treats:

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I think the dogs were excited.  There are also options for dog massages, dog yoga, and dog aromatherapy, but unfortunately Ella and Baxter haven’t been saving up their bones, so they won’t be splurging on any of those treats.

After we settled in, we all got clean for dinner.  And I do mean ALL of us:

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Stinky dog.

We left the dogs at the hotel and headed out for dinner with my parents at Grotto, a really small Italian restaurant about five minutes from Boston Common.  Our meal was excellent!

I started with a big bowl of garlic soup with truffle oil and parmesan:

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And then for my main course, I enjoyed goat cheese and spinach ravioli with a mushroom butter sauce:

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So, so good. For dessert, Ryan and I split a panna cotta:

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Everyone else’s food was amazing as well, but the pictures turned out kind of blurry!

When we got back to the hotel, Ella and Baxter had ordered a few movies on the hotel TV—Hotel for Dogs, The Shaggy Dog, and Must Love Dogs. 🙂

We’re about to go workout in the hotel gym, and then spend the day walking around! See you for a recap at some point…hope your holiday is off to a great start! 

30 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 12:05 pm

    Aw I hope you enjoy Boston this weekend! Its so great for the 4th of July. I’m sorry I won’t be here!

  2. July 2, 2010 12:15 pm

    Looks so fun! Love the dog friendly hotel- tooo cute!

  3. July 2, 2010 12:26 pm

    I love the woman in the long dress firing a gun! It just seems so… out of place. 😉

  4. July 2, 2010 12:27 pm

    I work right near the Nine Zero hotel! Hope you have a blast in Boston 🙂

  5. July 2, 2010 12:42 pm

    Have a great weekend! That is awesome that the dogs get the royal treatment too!

  6. July 2, 2010 12:48 pm

    Looks like a fun and delicious day! Love the “dog spa!” 🙂

  7. July 2, 2010 12:54 pm

    That garlic soup looks to.die.for. YUM! The landscape is so pretty up there – beautiful pictures! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  8. July 2, 2010 1:30 pm

    mm what an impressive spread! And I love the adorable scenic photos 🙂 dog spas? that’s too much!

  9. July 2, 2010 1:30 pm

    I love that the hotel caters to your pups! So cute! Have fun in Boston!

  10. July 2, 2010 1:38 pm

    Those cupcakes sound fabulous!

  11. July 2, 2010 1:45 pm

    Can’t wait to see where you end up wandering!

  12. July 2, 2010 1:56 pm

    Wow, that lunch looks fantastic. You guys sure know how to start a vacation off right!! Loving that hotel. Doggie Heaven 😉

  13. greensandjeans permalink
    July 2, 2010 2:06 pm

    What a full day with some SERIOUSLY good food! I think the dogs must have secretly made that hotel reservation

  14. July 2, 2010 2:36 pm

    um, i’ll take mexican chocolate cupcakes ANY day of the week! tell your friend that she should go for it!

  15. July 2, 2010 2:39 pm

    That looks so fun! And the whole picnic spread looks delish!

    Baxter never fails to make me smile!

    Have a great 4th of July weekend!

  16. July 2, 2010 2:47 pm

    Anna: Thanks for sharing your lovely day. The food is amazing!! How lovely to meet up with your WONDERFUL hosts!! Oliver, our new dalmatian, wants to check into that hotel. He says he would not hop in the pond like Baxter but would like a bath because he thinks the hotel probably has great bath products. He would have ordered up “101 Dalmatians”!! Enjoy the rest of your trip and visit.


  17. highonhealthy permalink
    July 2, 2010 4:05 pm

    The Minute Man National Park looks gorgeous! As you do guys. 🙂

    Your friend’s chocolate cupcakes with the cinnamon on top look amazing and I’ll probably be dreaming about them tonight. Or daydreaming about them while at work today.

  18. July 2, 2010 4:15 pm

    Anna, what a fantastic time we had yesterday! So sorry to hear about the traffic woes. I’m glad to hear that Baxter is looking good as new 🙂 Poor little stinky guy!

    Also, thank you for all the kind comments about the cupcakes! You’re all so sweet.

  19. July 2, 2010 4:38 pm

    That ravioli looks delicious!

  20. July 2, 2010 4:52 pm

    So, so true about the baked goods. I find that they aren’t even worth it to me anymore. So nutritionally void, unless, like you said, you adapt the recipe and healthy it up!

    I want that soup!

  21. July 2, 2010 4:56 pm

    Love the title.
    Love the photos.
    Love the food.
    And god I am hungry. I shouldn’t read amazing food blogs where such great food appears! 😉

    Ps. Elyssa should definitely start her own baked goods line! Those cupcakes look to die for.

  22. July 2, 2010 5:15 pm

    I really want your dogs to do dog yoga and you to take pictures.

  23. July 2, 2010 6:18 pm

    What a beautiful park you went to and those cupcakes look amazing. I love things with a strong cinnamon kick! Your friend should definitely start her baking company- lots of people would be all over it!

  24. amy permalink
    July 2, 2010 7:18 pm

    welcome to Boston!! I Can’t wait to read your blog about the things you eat while you’re here. I’m a newly veg 🙂

  25. July 2, 2010 8:30 pm

    That ravioli looks so good! What a cute hotel, I’ve never been to Boston but I’d like to go sometime. Have fun on your trip! 🙂

  26. thehungryscholar permalink
    July 3, 2010 12:10 am

    Ahhh! Such great food, Anna. Your summer pretty much rocks. Is Ryan growing a beard? Do you have to do that after you get a PhD? I better tell Lars now, it might take awhile.

  27. July 3, 2010 11:27 am

    Dinner looks amazing!!! Hope you have a fun weekend 🙂


  28. July 3, 2010 12:09 pm

    Welcome to my hometown!!!
    I love Grotto and ALWAYS order that ravioli. Can’t wait to see where you go next. If you go to Harvard Square, be sure to grab a beer at Grendels because you might see me. I’m meeting friends there tonight.

  29. July 3, 2010 12:32 pm

    Looks like so much fun!! I love nice weekends away like this, especially when they involve good friends and good foods.

    I like Elyssa’s idea of a “healthy baked goods” shop. I have actually thought of doing that myself, as I always tweak recipes to make them healthier! If she starts on, I want to be her partner 🙂

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